snor·​kel | \ ˈsnȯr-kəl How to pronounce snorkel (audio) \
plural snorkels

Definition of snorkel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a plastic tube that allows a swimmer to breathe while keeping the head or face under the surface of the water He swam about 250 yards on the surface, using a snorkel to breathe, to get past the barren sandy bottom.— Brian Clark No complicated equipment—just a mask, snorkel, and fins, and you're set to explore a shimmering world of exotic fish and Technicolor coral.— Richard Alleman
2 : a tube housing air intake and exhaust pipes for a vehicle's engine that can be extended above the water's surface so that the engine can be operated while the vehicle is partially or fully submerged Water entered the snorkel of an Argentine submarine and caused one of its batteries to short circuit before the vessel went missing this month, a navy spokesman said Monday.Chicago Tribune Most need to be specially modified … with extra ground clearance to get over big rocks, an exhaust snorkel for river crossings, industrial-strength suspension, and an engine with enough torque to power through mud and sand.— Jerry Guo


snorkeled; snorkeling\ ˈsnȯr-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce snorkel (audio) \

Definition of snorkel (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to operate or swim submerged using a snorkel

Other Words from snorkel


snorkeler \ ˈsnȯr-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce snorkel (audio) \ noun

Examples of snorkel in a Sentence

Verb We snorkeled in the Caribbean on our vacation last year.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even beefier is the ZR2 Bison, which adds tougher bumpers, a winch, skid plates, and a snorkel from AEV. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, 22 Jan. 2022 At this private island resort, encircled by the Great Astrolabe Reef, guests join marine biologists on snorkel trips and dives to help transplant live coral from seven nearby nurseries into a growing reef. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2022 The site's snorkel trail functions as an artificial reef, entertaining snorkelers on the surface as divers swim below. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 The La Jolla couple avoided onboard activities and shore excursions, choosing instead to sunbathe on white-sand beaches and snorkel in the azure waters of the Grenadines. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2022 Oddly retro today, the strange central snorkel would have been regarded a cutting-edge design flourish at the time, as evocative of the Space Age as a Jell-O mold or a beehive hairdo. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 27 Dec. 2021 Cindy leads intrepid travelers out to the unspoiled Tahiti Iti coast for a full day of hiking across reefs, exploring uninhabited islands, and swimming through lava tubes to reach waterfalls—with many impromptu snorkel stops along the way. Stephanie Vermillion, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Dec. 2021 With a stop on the Kona coast, guests can explore the rugged shore, snorkel among tropical fish, or visit a national park. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 15 Dec. 2021 On Cristóbal Island, guests can hike, take a glass-bottom kayak cruise, and snorkel. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 30 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lanai is the next port, where guests can snorkel, paddleboard, kayak, and explore by skiff, seeing sea cliffs along the shore and the quaint Lanai Culture and Heritage Center. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 15 Dec. 2021 After that, hundreds of offers for everything from guest house accommodations to day trips on boats to snorkel with reef sharks rolled in from around the islands. Terry Ward, CNN, 24 Dec. 2021 The first port is Costa Maya on Mexico's Caribbean coast where guests can snorkel, kayak, relax on the beach, or choose a zipline or water park adventure. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 8 Dec. 2021 There, guests can snorkel or dive among coral reefs, shop for handmade Mexican souvenirs, or relax on the beach. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 28 Nov. 2021 The property features 600 feet of private waterfront—Le Sereno is one of the few hotels that only allows hotel guests to use their beach club—and children will scramble to snorkel with sea turtles, who swim freely in the bay. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2021 People can either snorkel with the manta rays or relax and enjoy the view from the canoe without even getting in the water. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 Wildlife sightings continue on the island’s rugged eastern shore, where guests can snorkel and spot whales migrating along the Turks Island Passage. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2020 Lying just a few feet underwater a mere 200 feet off the coastline near the resort town of Limassol, the harbor will soon be Cyprus’ newest tourist attraction where adventurous travelers can snorkel over its submerged stone remains. Eve Chen, USA TODAY, 19 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snorkel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of snorkel


1945, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1949, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for snorkel


German Schnorchel

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Time Traveler for snorkel

Time Traveler

The first known use of snorkel was in 1945

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Dictionary Entries Near snorkel



Snorri Sturluson

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Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Snorkel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for snorkel



English Language Learners Definition of snorkel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a special tube that makes it possible to breathe while you are swimming with your head underwater



English Language Learners Definition of snorkel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to swim underwater while using a snorkel


snor·​kel | \ ˈsnȯr-kəl How to pronounce snorkel (audio) \

Kids Definition of snorkel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a tube used by swimmers for breathing with the head underwater


snorkeled; snorkeling

Kids Definition of snorkel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to swim underwater using a tube for breathing

More from Merriam-Webster on snorkel

Nglish: Translation of snorkel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snorkel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about snorkel


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